Coming of age:

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 26, 2001

Young Trojans do in Bulldogs, 20-14


Sports Editor

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On a night when not many people gave Charles Henderson a chance of even being competitive against No. 7 Pike County, the Trojans somehow managed to find a way to win, beating their cross-county rivals 20-14 in Friday night’s preseason game held at Troy’s Memorial Stadium.

Making matters worse for the Trojans, 10 players, six of them starters, were suspended prior to the game, direct fallout from a spray painting incident, which took place on the campus of Pike County on Wednesday night.

But with all the adversity surrounding the CHHS football program on Friday night, Duran Boykin’s 11-yard touchdown run with 2:06 left in the game allowed the Trojans to gain back a measure of pride, something that had been tarnished just two nights before.

"I’m very proud of this football team tonight," said CHHS head coach Hugh Fountain. "We had a lot of mistakes in this game, but when you consider that we played a sophomore quarterback and started just one senior on both offense and defense, I couldn’t be more pleased with how we played."

Pete Van Horn and junior Roderick Burden split time at quarterback for the Trojans with both players able to find some degree of success against the Bulldogs’ defense. Van Horn hurt Pike County on some key passes, while Burden used shifty running to turn short gains into first downs.

Both quarterbacks were aided by the running of Jarvis Woods and sophomores Randall Maddox and Boykin.

But what was surprising was the Trojans’ offensive line’s ability to push the larger Pike County defensive front out of the way.

At least long enough for

CHHS’s running backs to find a hole.

"We looked like wimps their for awhile in the fourth quarter, but our offensive line bowed it up when they had to," Fountain said. "We’re not big, but we’ve got some speed on the line."

Although the CHHS offense hurt themselves with ill-timed penalties, their Bulldog counterparts committed crucial turnovers to aid the Trojans’ cause.

In the third, after Pike County’s defense had stopped Burden on a fourth and two sneak at their own 30-yard line, Maddox recovered a Bulldogs’ fumble on the ensuing play. Boykin ran 11-yards for a first down and then Woods carried to the nine. Boykin carried it in from there to put the Trojans up 10-6.

It would be Woods last carry of the ballgame, though, as the junior starter injured his knee and was transported to Edge Regional Medical Center.

In the latter stages of the game it seemed as if the Trojans were snake bit with injuries. Besides Woods, several players, including Burden, left the game with cramps and Boykin rolled his ankle in the fourth, before returning to score the game winner.

"I don’t exactly know how bad Jarvis’s injury was," said Fountain. "It may be something that will take him a couple of weeks to recuperate from. I don’t think it’s something that’s real severe, but I don’t know for sure."

In Woods’ absence, Boykin and Maddox took over.

"Duran Boykin and Randall Maddox are two tough sophomores," said Fountain. "They get out there and give you all they’ve got and they did it in the end."

Following CHHS’s go-ahead score in the third, Pike County quickly answered when quarterback Chris Nickson found Joey Spikner all alone behind the Trojans’ secondary for a touchdown. Nickson scored the two-point conversion as the Bulldogs regained the lead 14-10.

"We were down to our third cornerback when they beat us deep," said Fountain. "It was a smart play by Coach Grant, because their guy just ran right by our player."

CHHS appeared to be on their way back to take the lead after Van Horn avoided a sack and, under heavy pressure, found Clint Pugh for a 16-yard gain. 15 more yards were added on due to a late hit out of bounds and Maddox followed that with a nine-yard touchdown run, but the play was nullified due to a holding penalty.

Backed-up, a fade pass to Pugh on fourth down was broken up in the endzone by Pike County’s Eiljah Daniels.

But Pike County coughed up the ball again, setting the Trojans up at the nine-yard line. Unable to score in three attempts at the goal, Fountain elected to have sophomore Josh Post try a field goal. Post connected from 26 yards out cutting the Bulldogs’ lead to 14-13.

After picking up one first down, the Bulldogs was forced to punt. Starting from the Bulldogs’ 42, Kendrick Toney picked up four yards and Maddox stumbled around left end for a first down. Boykin went up the middle for five yards and Maddox broke a 14-yard run to the 11, where Boykin carried it in.

Post put CHHS up first in the game with a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Pike County running backs Craig Flowers and Terrill Gray helped move the Bulldogs down the field, where Nickson, on a jump pass, connected with tight end Thurston Lee for a 22-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 6-3 lead at the half.